VP | Scholastic Parents Media
As publisher of one of the few consumer magazines to experience significant advertising growth in 2008, Scholastic Parent & Childâ€™s Risa Crandall sits in an enviable positionâ€”yet one not entirely different from other publishers staring down the barrel of a recession.
Despite the magazineâ€™s 28 percent ad page growth in 2008, â€śweâ€™re still looking to save,â€ť says Crandall. The difference is that unlike other magazines slashing costs and freezing others, Scholastic Parent & Child is reinvesting those savings in areas that advertisers and subscribers immediately notice.
For instance, Crandall says, the company was able to save 8 percent on printing costs, but turned around and reinvested in a heavier paper stock and matte finishâ€”â€śsomething very obvious to advertisers,â€ť especially when a lot of magazines are reducing their paper quality to cut costs, Crandall says.
But itâ€™s important to be mindful of all costs, particularly in a recession. The magazine has become more resourceful, Crandall says, creating the bulk of its marketing pieces in-house.
Scholastic is also selling single-sponsored themes for both the magazine and Web site, where one advertiser can deliver their message loudly. Crandall says they are also developing an independent film projectâ€”which will have print and digital components.
Success in 2008 means Scholastic can experiment, probably a bit more than most publishers, in 2009. Crandall says the company is moving ahead with an advertiser-backed â€śSummer Challenge,â€ť a â€śhuge initiativeâ€ť that was put on hold in 2008. The company is also pulling the trigger on a large content and distribution partnership with Audubon, another project that was shelved last year.
In terms of goals for 2009, Crandall says sheâ€™d like to see advertising grow about 11 percent, increase the magazineâ€™s share in the parenting category (â€śitâ€™s really a share game right nowâ€ť) and move up in the eyes of advertisers in terms of new creative print offerings.
â€śWeâ€™re in the top two and a half,â€ť says Crandall. â€śI think we can get to #1 by the end of the year.â€ť
Where They Will Grow: Print advertising (up 11 percent), helped by single-sponsored packages.
Where They Will Save: Production, printing and outside agencies, but will reinvest the savings in areas that are â€śobviousâ€ť to clients and the marketplace.
Quote: â€śItâ€™s critical how you present yourself during a recession.â€ť
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